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25Jul2017 Market Close: Wall Street Extended Its SP 500 Record-setting Run Amid Optimism Over The Labor Market, WTI Crude Settles In The High 47 Handle And The US Dollar Shores Up Its Prior Weakness

Written by Gary

US stock markets somewhat off session highs, but remained in the green (SPY +0.2%). The large caps were modestly higher and the small caps were flat.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Jobs lift U.S. consumer confidence to near 16-year high

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S consumer confidence jumped to a near 16-year high in July amid optimism over the labor market while house prices maintained their upward trend in May, which could boost consumer spending after recent sluggishness.

Earnings power S&P 500 to record; Alphabet lags

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 extended its record-setting run on Tuesday, led by well-received corporate reports from McDonald's and Caterpillar and gains for bank shares, while the Nasdaq managed a record high despite losses for Google parent Alphabet.

House panel wants Google, Facebook, AT&T CEOs to testify on internet rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday asked the chief executives of Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Inc, AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and other companies to testify at a Sept. 7 hearing on the future of net neutrality rules.

Geek fight! Musk says Zuckerberg naive about killer robots

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Silicon Valley baron Elon Musk insulted rival billionaire Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, escalating a tech wizard war of words over whether robots will become smart enough to kill their human creators.

BMW halts project talks after Daimler blew whistle: Sueddeutsche

BERLIN (Reuters) - BMW has suspended talks with Daimler on future cooperation projects after its rival disclosed alleged collusion among German carmakers to cartel authorities, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday, citing industry sources.

Options traders bullish on Facebook ahead of second-quarter results

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Facebook Inc geared up to report second-quarter results on Wednesday, traders in the options market are exhibiting a greater degree of bullishness in more than a year, options data showed.

Michael Kors to buy luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Michael Kors agreed to buy luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion, snapping up a British company whose towering stilettos have been made famous by celebrity customers from Princess Diana to Kendall Jenner.

Custom burgers, $1 drinks boost McDonald's sales; shares jump

(Reuters) - McDonald's Corp on Tuesday posted its biggest jump in global sales at established restaurants in five years, helped by stronger traffic worldwide and U.S. initiatives including drink specials and custom sandwiches.

VW executive charged in U.S. emissions probe to plead guilty: court

(Reuters) - A Volkswagen AG executive charged in the automaker's diesel emissions scandal plans to plead guilty on Aug. 4 in U.S. District Court in Detroit, a court spokesman said on Tuesday.

Trump On How Long He Will Criticize Sessions Without Firing Him: "I'm Looking At It"

After slamming Jeff Sessions in what was his lengthiest morning tweetstorm to date, Donald Trump spoke to the WSJ and once again expressed his disappointment in the Attorney General and questioned the importance of Sessions's early endorsement of Mr. Trump's candidacy, saying that Session - the only senator to endorse him in the primary - did so because of big crowds, not loyalty but declined to say whether he planned to fire him, although based on that statement it is most likely that Sessions' days are numbered.

"When they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama," Mr. Trump said on Tuesday , recalling the endorsement . "I had 40,000 people. He was a senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator, he looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, 'What do I have to lose?' And he endorsed me. So it's not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement. But I'm very disappointed in Jeff Sessions."

He continuied piling on, adding that "it's not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement."

Asked if he would remove Mr. Sessions from office, Trump again said he was disappointed in the attorney general's decision to recuse himself from the probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"I'm just looking at it," the president said when asked how long he could continue to criticize Mr. Sessions without firing him. "I'll just see. It's a very important thing."

Trump also said he was "very happy" with the addition of Anthony Scaramucci, "dismissing Scaramucci's decision during the presidential campaign to endorse two other Republican candidates before ...

What If The Debt Ceiling Turns Ugly: How To Trade A Fall Spike In Volatility

As we first showed last week, while the equity market has remained completely oblivious to what the upcoming debt ceiling fight, which Morgan Stanley admitted over the weekend "worries us most" of all upcoming catalysts, the same can not be said of the T-Bill market, where 3M-6M yields have inverted the most on record on concerns about a potential selloff (or worse) in 3M bills which mature just after the time the US Tsy is expected to run out of cash, should the debt ceiling debate fail to result in a satisfactory outcome.

And while it is a gamble to suggest that stocks will ever again respond to any negative news or still have any capacity to discount any future event or outcome, Bank of America dares to go there, and advises clients that between seasonality, and the already record low VIX, the debt ceiling is a sufficiently risky event to expect that equity volatility will finally wake up, and that "seasonality + catalysts suggest record low vol likely unsustainable through the fall." Here's the big picture from Nitin Saksena and team:

While VIX has been making headlines for the most consecutive closes in history below 10 (now 8 days), medium-term VIX futures have quietly fallen to ~10-year lows, breaking the previous record from summer 2014. However, we think volatility is unlikely to sustain these extreme lows in the fall and like selling Oct VIX puts as (i) seasonal patterns suggest the VIX troughs in Jul and peaks in Sep/Oct, (ii) the VIX has "settle ...

There Is Only One Empire: Finance

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Any nation-state that meets these four requirements is fully exposed to a global loss of faith in its economy, debt, balance of payments and currency.

There's an entire sub-industry in journalism devoted to the idea that China is poised to replace the U.S. as the "global empire" / hegemon. This notion of global empire being something like a baton that gets passed from nation-state to nation-state is seriously misleading, in my view, for this reason:

There is only one global empire: finance. China and the U.S. both exist within the Empire of Finance. Virtually every mercantile nation with access to global markets lives, works and thrives/dies within the Empire of Finance. Every nation that allows capital to flow into its economy is subservient to the Empire of Finance. Every nation with capital and debt markets exposed to (or dependent on) global financial flows is just another fiefdom in the Empire of Finance.

China has thrived within the Empire of Finance by creating more debt and at a faster rate of expansion than any other fiefdom. China has brought 20 years of future growth and income forward, and eventually that vein of "wealth" runs out as time advances into the stripmined future.

The same can be said of all nations that have borrowed heavily from future growth and income to fund consumption/GDP "growth" today.

The Empire of Finance has few requirements for hegemony in its realm, but they are big ones.

1. If you want your national currency to act as a global reserve currency (or the global reserve currency), you must run permanent large trade deficits to export your currency in size to the rest of the world. This is the essenc ...

A Quick and Simple Plan For Politicians to UNFUCK AMERICA

So what Jefferson was saying was,
"Hey! You know, we left this England place because it was bogus.
So if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, pronto,
we'll just be bogus too."

-Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

I was recently asked by a person in the UK government to list the steps I would like to see the US government take in order to actually Make America Great Again.

Here are my first ten actions, in no particular order:

1) Re-institute The Glass-Steagall Act and require FASB to re-institute Mark-To-Market

2) Require an independent and public audit of all of the Federal Reserve Banks, every year

3) Pass and actually enforce a Balanced Budget Amendment

4) Pass a Flat Tax Amendment, not to exceed 10%, no deductions, with an equivalent rate for income and capital gains

The Coming Squeeze for Shale Oil Drillers

Oil field services firms such as Halliburton and Schlumberger see more improvement in the U.S. shale patch, but their rising margins may come at the expense of oil and gas producers' profits.

SoftBank Tries to Grab the Ride-Hailing Market

The Japanese tech giant is spreading its bets on the market. Its returns may depend on big changes in consumer behavior.

Akzo Nobel's Poor Results Increase Chances of a Deal

The paint giant's shares look like a one-way bet. Weak growth makes a fresh takeover bid from U.S. peer PPG ever more probable.

Earnings Outlook: UPS earnings: How much will Prime packages cut into margins?

Analysts are expecting muted revenue growth as United Parcel continues to invest in infrastructure for more efficient deliveries to consumers.

Capitol Report: New revenue rules mean more work for companies, big revenue for consultants and auditors

Who is doing the heavy lifting to get companies ready to report revenue under new rules? The usual suspects are cashing in, including auditors

Michael Kors gets a toehold in men's shoes with Jimmy Choo purchase

Michael Kors says Jimmy Choo is "adding a twist to classic shapes" in men's evening shoes.

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