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17Jul2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closes Flat, DOW Down 8 Points, WTI Crude Down 1.2 Percent, US Dollar Ends Session Flat

Written by Gary

US stocks were closed flat, mixed and little changed today (SPY -0.01%) as gains in utilities and consumer stocks offset declines . . .

Todays S&P 500 Chart

. . . in healthcare, with earnings news separating winners and losers across the board.

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street ends flat with eyes on earnings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as gains in utilities and consumer stocks offset declines in healthcare, with earnings news separating winners and losers across the board.

Blue Apron shares tumble after Amazon files for meal-kit trademark

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of meal-kit service Blue Apron Holdings Inc slumped to new lows on Monday in the wake of Amazon.com Inc 's move to register a trademark for a possible rival service.

Trian takes off the gloves, aiming to put Peltz on P&G's board

(Reuters) - Activist investor Nelson Peltz is seeking a seat on Procter & Gamble Co's board, taking public his frustrations with the company's lagging stock price and railing against its "suffocating bureaucracy."

Lack of voting rights may keep Snap, others from MSCI indexes

BOSTON (Reuters) - MSCI Inc has proposed leaving shares of Snap Inc and other companies including Eaton Vance Corp out of stock indexes because they lack voting rights, a sign of the rising skepticism facing corporate structures that boost the power of insiders.

Low-fee BlackRock funds reel in cash but earnings disappoint

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc's second-quarter results failed to impress Wall Street on Monday as the world's biggest asset manager cut fees to lure a wave of investor cash into its exchange-traded funds, sending shares down more than 3 percent.

U.S. Federal Reserves fines BNP Paribas $246 mln for foreign exchange fixing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve announced on Monday it had fined BNP Paribas $246 million for "unsafe and unsound" practices in its foreign exchange markets, saying it had found deficiencies in the bank's oversight and internal controls of its traders.

Major tech firms urge U.S. to retain net neutrality rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group representing major technology firms including Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Monday to abandon plans to reverse the landmark 2015 rules barring internet service providers from blocking or slowing consumer access to web content.

America Movil audits Guatemala unit after questions surface over payments

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil said on Monday it was auditing its Guatemalan unit after an investigation in the country raised questions about payments made by a former executive at the telecoms company.

Qualcomm loses appeal against EU threat of daily fine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm faces the threat of a daily fine of 580,000 euros ($665,000) for failing to provide EU antitrust regulators with information after losing an appeal against the penalty in a European Union court on Monday.

Bonds, Bullion, & Bitcoin Bid As Stocks, Dollar Hit The Doldrums

Judging by the volume and volatility today, this is the market's attitude...

"Great" China data overnight seems to have triggered a sell-the-news moment in commodities and commodity currencies. China stocks also tumbled overnight after regulators warned of more deleveraging to come...This drove China Small Caps to their lowest since Jan 2015 (down 10% in the last week)...

US 'soft' data dipped today...

But the summer doldrums appear to be here in the states, as S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq barely budged all day (though Trannies and Small Caps did move)...FDX was the big weight on Trannies (as airlines outperformed)

VIX dropped to 9.71 intraday but could not ignite any momentum in stocks...and dared to lift back above 10 in the last hour

Musk Defends Tesla On Twitter, Says Crashed Driver "Does Not Intend To Blame Tesla"

The best way to get Elon Musk tweeting, is for TSLA stock to be red on the day, and sure enough moments ago the billionaire CEO of Tesla could not containt himself, when in response to an (erroneous) tweet that "Tesla is dropping after @elonmusk says the stock price is 'higher than we have any right to deserve'" (as noted here first, TSLA tumbled on the news of yet another alleged Tesla autopilot-induced crash), Musk responded that "I should clarify: Tesla stock is obviously high based on past & present, but low if you believe in Tesla's future. Place bets accordingly ..."

I should clarify: Tesla stock is obviously high based on past & present, but low if you believe in Tesla's future. Place bets accordingly ... https://t.co/4zbc6vqZSZ

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 17, 2017

Judging by the 2.5% drop in TSLA shares, at least today there were fewer believers in Tesla's future than those who traded "based on past & present."

And in a separate tweet, one which did actually address what was bothering Tesla shareholders, Musk responded to another tweet, this time from Electrek which said what we noted earlier this morning, namely that "Tesla Autopilot is being blamed by driver in a rollover crash in Minnesota" saying this was "not true" and tweeted the email from the driver in the alleged autopilot-related crash, according to which "The Tesla driver sent an email to the sheriff and a local media outlet stating that he did not intend to blame Autopilot or Tesla for his accident."

'Boomerangski' Returns To Bite The Clintons

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The strenuous effort of "Resistance" passengers in the Limousine-of-State to shove Donald Trump out of the driver's seat continues into what would normally be the news-wasteland of midsummer. Last week it was the smoking popgun of Trump Junior's meeting with a Russian lawyer purported (by British music promoter Rob Goldstein) to be associated with the "Russian Crown Prosecutor" (no such office in a country without a monarch).

The news caused the usual commotion among the very media mouthpieces who publish anti-Trump allegations as a staple for their "Resistance" readerships. By the way, this blog might be described as anti-Trump, too, in the sense that I did not vote for him and regularly inveigh against his antics as President - but neither is Clusterfuck Nation a friend of the Hillary-haunted Dem-Prog "Resistance," in case there's any confusion about where we stand. If anything, we oppose the entirety of the current political regime in our nation's capital, the matrix of rackets that is driving the aforementioned Limousine-of-State off the cliff of economic collapse. Just sayin'.

"Resistance" law professors, such as Lawrence Tribe at Harvard, were quick to holler "treason" over Junior's meet-up with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin. Well, first of all, and not to put too fine a point on it, don't you have to be at war with another nation to regard any kind of consort as "treason?" Last time I checked, we were not at war with Russia - though it sure seems like persons and parties inside the Beltway would dearly like to make that happen. You can't call it espionage either, of course, because that would purport the giving of secret inform ...

US Shale Production Just Hit A New All Time High

One month ago, we reported that based on recent data, June oil output from shale producers would post the first double-digit production growth since July of 2015, when oil prices tumbled and a substantial portion of US production was briefly taken offline. While the final data has yet to be tabulated, it is safe to say that this is now the case.

Indicatively, while over the past year total U.S. production was up roughly 525kb/d, virtually all of it, or 98.5%, was the result of horizontal rig production in the Permian Basin, where output rose by just over half a million barrels per day.

The Permian basin has been leading the increase in horizontal oil rig count (+184%)

Also of note is that while US rig shows not signs of slowing yet, in its latest Weekly Oil Rig Monitor, Goldman predicted that $45/bbl is the price below which shale output would finally slow, although that price may also prove a substantial hurdle for many gulf budgets, whose all in cost of production - including mandatory and discretionary government outlays - is roughly the same if not higher.

Rig count (lhs), WTI spot prices (rhs, $/bbl, 3-mo lag)

The Vanishing Reward for Buying High-Yield Bonds

A closer look at high-yield bonds shows the reward on offer isn't quite what it seems.

China's Growth Is Still on Borrowed Time

The Chinese economy is performing better than expected—that gives regulators more time to crack down on leverage. Donald Trump or the Fed could upset the party, however.

How New Rules Could Pinch Health Stocks

The latest Senate bid to overhaul the Affordable Care Act contains a benefit to health insurers. That boon may come at the expense of providers.

The Ratings Game: Apple's stock climbs to 7th straight gain after analyst boosts price target

Apple's stock rallies to a seventh-straight gain, the win streak in nine months, after Morgan Stanley raised its price target.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President says McCain's vote needed for Obamacare replacement

President Donald Trump highlighted U.S.-made products to kick off the administration's "Made in America" campaign, again defended his son Donald Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer and planned to meet with a group of Republican senators on the health-care bill. He also said Sen. John McCain's vote is needed on the bill, as McCain recovers from surgery.

Earnings Outlook: Johnson & Johnson earnings: A challenging second quarter poised for a turnaround

Johnson & Johnson's first-quarter sales miss amid a challenging drug market disappointed investors. Don't expect the company's second-quarter earnings — scheduled before the open on July 18 — to be any different, Wall Street analysts say.

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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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