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31Jul2017 Market Update: DOW Hits New Historic High, Analysts Wrong Again, US Indexes Set For Best Monthly Gains Since Feb, Nasdaq Down -0.3 Percent, US Dollar And Crude Prices Continue To Slip

Written by Gary

Major stock market indexes see best monthly gain since February (SPY +0.03%). Previously owned U.S. homes rebounded but the housing market remained constrained by a shortage of properties available for sale.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed today. The Bovespa is up 0.69% while the S&P 500 gains 0.04%. The IPC is off 0.38%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Discovery to buy Scripps Networks in bid for content clout

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Discovery Communications Inc is acquiring Scripps Networks Interactive Inc for $11.9 billion in a deal expected to boost the company's negotiating leverage as pay TV operators lose subscribers and it seeks new audiences.

Snap's shares pare losses in brisk trading as lockup ends

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Snap Inc , owner of the Snapchat messaging app, clawed back much of its earlier losses in volatile trading on Monday, after dropping to a new low as the expiration of a share lockup allowed early investors to sell.

Wall Street on course to close its strongest month since Feb

(Reuters) - All three major U.S. indexes were set for their best monthly gains since February, with the Dow touching yet another record high.

Lawsuit says Wells Fargo auto insurance charges were a fraud

(Reuters) - A new lawsuit accuses Wells Fargo & Co of racketeering violations and fraud after the bank admitted to charging several hundred thousand borrowers for auto insurance they did not ask for or need, causing many delinquencies.

U.S. pending home sales rise; Midwest factory activity slows

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rebounded in June after three straight monthly declines, but the housing market remained constrained by a shortage of properties available for sale.

Ford CEO Hackett reviewing future products, plants, countries: sources

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Jim Hackett is reviewing the automaker's operations in India and other markets, as well as Ford's future product programs including plans to build a self-driving commercial vehicle in 2021, according to company officials and other sources familiar with that review.

Wal-Mart shuffles U.S. leadership teams in food, merchandising

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc has announced changes to its food leadership team in an internal memo, as it prepares for increased competition with grocery rivals and remains caught in a price war.

Charter surges as Japan's SoftBank considers bid

(Reuters) - Charter Communications Inc's shares surged to a record high on Monday after a source said Japan's SoftBank Group Corp was considering an acquisition offer, even as Charter has shot down the possibility of it being the acquirer in any merger with SoftBank's U.S. wireless carrier, Sprint Corp .

Apple fails to end lawsuit claiming it 'broke' FaceTime

(Reuters) - Apple Inc has failed in its bid to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it disabled the popular FaceTime video conferencing feature on older iPhones to force users to upgrade.

Bitcoin Is Rallying As 'Fork'-Day Arrives

With only a few hours remaining before the widely-expected Bitcoin network's SegWit activation and its anticipated fork, there is a bifurcation in the crytpo-world with Bitcoin higher (up 5%) and the rest of the major virtual currencies lower (down 4%). For now, crypto markets seem relatively calm and stable ahead of what was feared to be an extreme volatility moment.

Spot the odd one out...

As CoinTelegraph reports, after falling to below $1,800 in the middle of July, Bitcoin price has recovered to be trading around $2,700 as at the time of writing.

But more significant is the overall market behavior which is expressing relative calmness as price movement are less volatile than is usually experienced in seasons of anticipation.

Iqbal Gandham, UK Managing Director at eToro, on the possible Bitcoin split, comments:

"The surge in pricing we've seen since the start of this year has thrown digital cryptocurrencies into the public eye. Bitcoin in particular has been making headlines, as the possibility of it one day becoming a real world currency used throughout the world looks increasingly likely, even if this is a long way off.

"But Bitcoin's sharp increase in popularity ha ...

Rand Paul Blocks NDAA Over Indefinite Detention

Authored by Jason Ditz via,

Sen. Rand Paul (R - KY) has blocked a motion by majority leader Mitch McConnell (R - KY) to advance the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the massive military spending bill, saying that the bill should instead face debate and possible amendments.

This sets the bill back for 6 weeks, at least.

In particular, Sen. Paul is seeking two amendments, one which ends NDAA authorization for indefinite detention of suspects, and another related to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), something that was added to the House version but later quietly removed by the Speaker.

Paul's protest is expected to delay the NDAA vote through at least the August recess, meaning a vote is unlikely until September. While this gives plenty of time for amendments to be debated, it's not clear the Senate leadership will allow that no matter how much time they're given.

Indeed, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R - AZ) was critical of any delay on any grounds, insisting the bill and its huge spending increase are a "solemn obligation" for the Senate to pass without delay.

Wasserman Schultz IT Staffer "Frantically" Liquidating $2 Million In Real Estate Assets

As the mainstream media continues to report 24x7 on their Russian collusion narrative in a shameless attempt to take down a Republican administration without any actual evidence of wrongdoing, the Democrats find themselves embroiled in yet another actual scandal, with actual crimes, where people have actually been arrested by the FBI while actually trying to flee the country...yet shockingly, none of these actual crimes seem to be of any interest at all to traditional media outlets.

Be that as it may, the rather curious case of Imran Awan continues with the latest development coming courtesy of the Daily Caller who notes that Imran was frantically liquidating nearly $2 million in real estate holdings right up until the day has was arrested at Dulles airport.

Imran Awan, a congressional aide arrested by the FBI after wiring $300,000 to Pakistan and misrepresenting the purpose, had previously wired money to the country and was frantically liquidating multiple real estate properties on the day he was arrested, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Imran's real estate properties provide a source of money that could be sent directly to Pakistan when two upcoming home sales close. Prosecutors have since filed paperwork saying they fear "the dissipation of the proceeds of the fraud and destruction of evidence in other locations."

Imran was arrested July 24 — four months after the FBI says his wife Hina Alvi moved to Pakistan after learning the family was the subject of a crimi ...

No Fireworks In Today's Bill Auction: Has The Debt Ceiling Crisis Passed?

Unlike last Monday's 3M T-Bill auction, which as a reminder priced at the highest yield since the fall of October, but more importantly showed a dramatic "kink" in the 3M-6M bill yield due to growing concerns of a disorderly debt ceiling debate and potential government shutdown...

... moments ago the Treasury auctioned off $39BN in 3M and $33BN in 6M paper, which came off without a hitch - with the 3M stopping through the 1.08% When Issued, pricing at 1.07%, and more importantly, the 6M-3M bill spread has now normalized.

Also of note, last week's plunging Bid to Cover for the 3M auction which showed widespread buyside concern when bidding for the paper, rebounded sharply and rose from last Monday's 2.87 to 3.18, while the 6M BTC rebounded from 2.91 to 3.08.

Some more details from Stone McCarthy:

The 3-month bill auction stopped at 1.070%, with an 84.46% allocation at the high yield. The 3-month auction bid/cover ratio was 3.18. The average 3-month bid/cover over the past three months was 3.14. The WI was last trading at 1.080% at 11:30 AM. Indirect bidders took down 43.20% of the 3-month bill auction and Direct bidders took down 11.94%.

The 6-month bill auction stopped at 1.130%, with a 12.00% allocation at the high yield. The 6-month auction bid/cover ratio was 3.08. The average 6-month bid/cover over the past three months was 3.27. The WI was last trading at 1.120% at 11:30AM. Indir ...

Heineken vs. Bud: Investors Should Choose Wisely

The world's two largest brewers, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken, both sold more beer than expected in the second quarter, helped by warm weather in Europe as well as a late Easter but investors were much more excited about AB InBev's results.

HSBC Is a Cash Machine With Plenty Left to Give

HSBC promised a new slug of buybacks, and there could be more where that comes from.

Chinese Banks' Dash for Capital Gets Under Way

Ping An Bank said last week that it plans to issue $3.9 billion of convertible bonds, and it is unlikely to be the last bank seeking fresh capital.

June 2017 Pending Home Sales Seasonally Adjusted Index Improves

Written by Steven Hansen

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) seasonally adjusted pending home sales index modestly improved. Our analysis is more pessimistic. The quote of the day from this NAR release:

... Low supply is an ongoing issue holding back activity. Housing inventory declined last month and is a staggering 7.1 percent lower than a year ago ...

Outside the Box: Economy needs to create 4.4 million more jobs

It's not just white working class men who have been left behind by our economy.

In One Chart: Are Gates and Bezos really the richest men in the world? Nyet, says one fund manager

If Hermitage Capital CEO Bill Browder's numbers are correct, the massive fortunes of both tech giants combined still wouldn't stack up to the real richest man in the world: Vladimir Putin.

Why more companies are rolling back loyalty programs

What's really happening with Target's Cartwheel app.

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