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26Jul2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closed Higher. DOW Up Almost Triple Digits, SP 500 Closes Flat, WTI Crude Settles In The High 48 Handle

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks slid off session highs today (SPY +0.01), but recovered somewhat after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Fed holds rates steady, expects portfolio cuts 'relatively soon'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and said it expected to start winding down its massive holdings of bonds "relatively soon" in a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy.

Foxconn to announce new U.S. manufacturing plant: source

(Reuters) - Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn will announce plans to build a multi-billion dollar flat panel screen plant in Wisconsin at a White House event later on Wednesday, a source briefed on the matter said.

U.S. defense companies lift forecasts amid growing security concerns

(Reuters) - Top U.S. weapons makers reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised their full-year forecasts, buoyed by higher demand for fighter jets and tanks amid heightened security concerns around the world.

U.S. new home sales rise in June, but trend softening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. single-family home sales increased in June as purchases in the West surged to a near 10-year high, but downward revisions to the sales pace for the prior three months pointed to a housing market that is struggling to gain momentum.

Wall Street edges up after Fed holds tight on rates

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks added slightly to gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and said it expected to start winding down its massive holdings of bonds "relatively soon" in a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy.

iRobot shares surge on strong sales of Roomba vacuum cleaners

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares in iRobot Corp jumped 23 percent to a record high on Wednesday after the Roomba robotic vacuum maker posted better-than-expected quarterly results and said it was buying its largest European distributor.

AT&T shares surge more than 4 percent, low churn helps

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc shares jumped more than 4 percent on Wednesday, notching their biggest one-day percentage gain since March 2009, a day after the carrier said its bundled products had helped slow losses of its most lucrative wireless customers.

Energy Future warns delay would kill Oncor sale to Buffett

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc will walk away from its $9 billion acquisition of Oncor Electric Delivery Co if the deal is delayed, an attorney for the parent company of Texas' largest utility told a bankruptcy judge on Wednesday.

Ford results foreshadow tougher times for Detroit automakers

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co on Wednesday joined rival General Motors Co in reporting higher-than-expected second-quarter profits, and in the next breath warning of a rougher ride for the rest of the year.

For The First Time, Americans Spend More On Eating Out Than On Food At Home

In light of yesterday's OECD news confirming that Americans remain the most obese nation in the world, and as McDonalds' blockbuster results yesterday showed, American consumers are increasingly spending more on food away from home. As shown in the chart below, spending on food at home and food away from home have been converging over the past 60 years, with traditional home-cooked family meals on the decline. In fact, according to the USDA, for the first time ever, the amount spent eating out has surpassed what US consumers spend on food at home.

Here are some other observations on US feeding habits via Bank of America:

Consumers are eating alone more often and more "on demand". 47% of US meals are consumed alone and 43% of US consumers say they enjoy eating alone. Given how busy households and consumers have become, it is becoming more common to combine eating with catching up on news/social media, or to consume on the go. It also appears that the trend is for less planning for eating occasions. Millennials account for 40% of those who consume food within an hour of purchase. This is known as "immediate consumption" and accounts for about 15% of all meals. And 65% of instant consumables are eaten at home (source: Hartman Group/Forbes).

Consumers are willing to pay a premium for increasing levels of convenience and on demand. Globally, on average, they are willing to pay 14% more for online grocery delivery, 25% more for meal kits, 30% more for prepared meals and 55% more for restaurant take-outs (source: Lux Research).

Investors Intelligence Issues "New Major Warning" For Stocks

With the spread between bullish and bearish investors surging to its highest since the first week of 2017 (and bears at their lowest since March 1st), Investors Intelligence sees more than a little complacency spreading into financial markets.

In their latest note, II notes that newsletter writers classified as bulls rose to 60.2% this week - the first time above 60% since March 1 (and up from 57.8% last week). This has triggered Investors Intelligence to warn:

"This is a new major warning calling for defensive measures to protect profits, renewing the same signal from earlier this year.

In the historical comparison, the bulls ended Jan-1987 at 64.6% and then returned to 60.8% that Aug after further market highs" ahead of October crash.

Still, it's probably different this time.

Bitcoin: Fake Asset Or Security?

Authored by Chris Whalen via TheInstitutionalRiskAnalyst.com,

"I came of age on Wall Street when the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board—he was William McChesney Martin—condemned even trace amounts of inflation as an economic and moral evil. In the interval of 1960-65, there was not one year in which the CPI registered a year over year rise of as much as 2%."

- Grant's Interest Rate Observer

We've all heard of fake news, but consider the growing possibility of fake or at least virtual assets. Investors face a deliberately orchestrated shortage of real investments c/o global central banks in markets such as stocks and real estate. Is there any wonder that the financial engineers of Wall Street have again begun to manufacture new derivatives leveraging the real world?

Case in point, bitcoin. The most recognized "digital currency," bitcoin is a form of high-tech gaming instrument that fulfills just one of the traditional roles of money, but is among the world's fastest appreciating - and most volatile-- "asset" classes.

Adherents call the limited supply of bitcoin the ultimate expression of Milton Friedman style monetarist discipline. They view the digital medium as a rational response to the fiscal and monetary chaos visible in most of the industrial nations.

But despite the huge gains seen in bitcoin vs conventional currencies, Jim Rickards says he's sticking with his preferred investments: gold, cash and silver. "I don't own any bitcoin, but for those who have a preference for b ...

Trump Attacked Sessions Again This Morning; GOP Shills Are Stroking Out

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

I'm not a fan of airing out grievances in a public forum. As public as I am, I'd never discuss personnel changes or grievances with you misfits. It doesn't serve a purpose. The fact that Trump is humiliating Sessions on a daily basis must mean that either Trump is a supreme "type A" personality or Sessions deserves it.

Critiques argue that the AG isn't Trump's lawyer. That's a lie. Both AG Holder and Lynch were, in fact, Obama's surrogates and shilled for him on a daily basis. They even shilled for Hillary Clinton during the campaign, partly because they were both corrupt zealots of the deep state.

This morning Trump hit Sessions for not replacing the acting head of the FBI, who is, without a doubt, a Clinton mobster.

Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

...big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

These tweets are designed to apply pressure on Sessions to quit. After the inauguration, Trump looked like he wanted a detente with the establishment. He even said he would not pursue Hillary Clinton for crimes against the state. But that all changed after the democrats and establishment sought to imprison Trump and his family, via 'Russian ...

U.S. Shale Threatens Chemical Element of Aramco's IPO

An expected surge in U.S. petrochemicals output challenges one of the main pillars of the energy giant's plans to list.

A Hot Investment Too Popular for Its Own Good

It has proved startlingly easy for companies to cut the rates on their leveraged loans. Loan investors have little choice but to go along.

GM and PSA Geared Up for Auto Industry Tougher Times

The car makers' unwavering focus on costs and margins will offer protection in the coming downturn.

Outside the Box: The Apple Car could run traditional automakers off the road

Apple has an inside track to lead a radically new automobile industry, writes Vitaliy N. Katsenelson.

U.S. Steel surges 7% as better-than-expected earnings offset Trump comments

Stock bucks the negative trend in the sector Wednesday, after President Donald Trump signaled a possible change of heart on tariffs and import restrictions.

Key Words: Suddenly everyone is snatching a knot — and here's why

Expressing befuddlement — and engendering it at the same time — over the Senate's failure to pass, as yet, any of its several legislative efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Buddy Carter, a Georgia Republican, had a colorful strategy

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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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