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31Jul2017 Market Close: Dow Ends At Record Level With Help From Boeing, But Tech Weakness Weighs On Overall Market, WTI Crude Climbs Back Into The 50 Handle, US Dollar Slips

Written by Gary

US DOW makes new record high as other major indexes slide into the red (SPY -0.06%). Investor profit ...

Todays S&P 500 Chart

... taking in Facebook, Alphabet and other technology companies kept the S&P 500 flat and pulled the Nasdaq lower.

Expect a 'healthy' decline in stocks to begin soon: Gilburt

A third of millennials think now is the time to jump into the market

Wall Street isn't ready for a 1,100-point tumble in the Dow industrials

Nigam Arora: This is by far the biggest threat that Trump poses to the stock market

The stock market has about 12 mini flash crashes a day — and we can't prevent them

The Market in Perspective

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.

Dow hits record high while tech cedes ground

(Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high on Monday, helped by Boeing, while selling in Facebook, Alphabet and other technology companies kept the S&P 500 flat and pulled the Nasdaq lower.

Tesla drops after Musk warns of 'manufacturing hell'

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Tesla dropped 3.5 percent on Monday after Chief Executive Elon Musk warned that the electric carmaker would face "manufacturing hell" as it ramps up production of its new mass-market Model 3 sedan.

HBO says data hacked, media says 'Game of Thrones' targeted

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. cable channel HBO said on Monday that hackers had stolen upcoming programming, and Entertainment Weekly reported that the theft included a script for an unaired episode of the hit fantasy show "Game of Thrones."

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.

Lack of value fund interest could be another bad omen for Chipotle

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More well-publicized incidents at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc restaurants have pushed the shares down 26 percent over the last three months, but the burrito chain is facing a more subtle threat that could weigh on the stock: it is losing favor with growth fund managers and yet remains too expensive to attract value-oriented funds in their place.

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.

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.

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.

Federal Indictment Alleges Chrysler And UAW Execs Stole Millions From Employee Training Programs

For any UAW employees out there who still think their union is anything more than a ponzi scheme designed to effectively tax membership while enriching a few 'bosses' at the top of the pyramid, you should probably take note of a federal indictment that was filed late last week alleging that Chrysler executives conspired with UAW leaders to siphon millions in funds earmarked for employee training to line their own pockets.

As Automotive News points out, as of now, only two Chrysler employees have been charged but the indictment lays out a scenario in which many more charges could be levied against Chrysler employees and other high-ranking UAW officials who may have been involved.?

The indictment, unsealed last week, describes the alleged illegal dealings of former FCA labor relations chief Alphons Iacobelli, deceased UAW Vice President General Holiefield and his widow, Monica Morgan, a prominent Detroit photographer. Morgan will be arraigned in a Detroit federal court today, July 31. Iacobelli will be arraigned Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Federal investigators claim the three were at the center of a conspiracy from 2009 through 2014 that included Iacobelli personally pocketing $1 million and helping funnel $1.2 million from the UAW- Chrysler National Training Center to Holiefield, Morgan and other high-ranking members of the union.

The indictment specifically mentions at least eight unnamed people while vaguely mentioning "other" groups of people. Separately, federal officials announced fraud charges against former FCA financial analyst Jerome Durden, who is accused of creating false tax returns to hide payments to Holiefield, Iacobelli and other beneficiaries who were not identif ...

Watch Live: Sarah Sanders Attempts To Explain What The Hell Is Going On At The White House

After the White House bombshell of the day dropped just one hour ago, in the form of Anthony Scaramucci's sudden dismissal following just 10 days as the Communications Director, Sarah Sanders has the distinguished honor of taking the podium momentarily to attempt to explain to an anxious press pool what exactly is going on inside the White House.

And while probably no one, including Sanders, has any real idea what the future holds for the White House, the "no WH chaos!" announcement from Trump earlier today is looking increasingly unlikely.

Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2017

Tune in below for the fireworks:

U.S. Sanctions Venezuela's President Maduro, Freezes U.S. Assets

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has personally sanctioned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, adding him to the list of specially designated nationals, freezing any U.S. assets he may have and generally blocking U.S. persons from transactions involving him.

Today's sanction is a follow up to last week's announcement by the Trump administration in which the Treasuey revealed sanctions on 13 senior Venezuelan officials in an attempt to deter Maduro from moving forward with plan to rewrite Venezuela's constitution in what opponents regard as a potential power grab move. Needless to say, that particular attempt failed.

Today's escalation comes in response to this weekend's election which gives Venezuela's ruling party new, sweeping powers. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert charges the new assembly formed from this election "is designed to replace the legitimately elected National Assembly and undermine the Venezuelan people's right to self-determination."

From the Treasury Department:

Venezuela-related Designation
7/31/2017

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL
Specially Designated Nationals List Update
The following individual has been added to OFAC's SDN List:

MADURO MOROS, Nicolas (Latin: MADURO MOROS, Nicolás), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 23 Nov 1962; POB Caracas, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 5892464 (Venezuela); President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (individual).

In response to US criticism of the move, Reuters reported that Maduro told a crowd of supporters: "Why the ...

This Is What Makes Robert Shiller "Lie Awake Worrying"

The stock market's unusually low level of volatility could mark the "quiet before the storm," warns Robert Shiller, the famed Nobel laureate and economics professor at Yale University, who shared some alarming facts about the stock market that cause him to "lie awake worrying."

The Nobel laureate says low volatility paired with a questionable price-earnings ratio could wipe out a chunk of the stock market's value.

"The price increase just went step-by-step with the earnings increase. I think it's an overreaction to good earnings."

The ratio of P/E-to-VIX is euphoric...

His Shiller PE Ratio, also known as CAPE, shows the price-earnings ratio based on average inflation-adjusted earnings from the last 10 years is over 30.

The number carries significance because the only times it's been higher was just before the Great Depression in 1929 and mid-1997 to mid-2001.

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.

August 2017 Economic Forecast: Marginal Deceleration But Still Relatively Strong Growth

Written by Steven Hansen

Econintersect's Economic Index appears to forecast static economic growth fundamentals - with the index showing normal growth for the fourth month in a row. Six-month employment growth forecast indicates modest improvement in the rate of growth.

Altria's stock extends fall as analyst warns against getting burned by buying the dip

Altria's stock continued to sink on heavy volume in the wake of an FDA proposal on lowering nicotine levels, with RBC Capital warning investors not to buy the dip, like they might have done in the past.

Currencies: Euro charges to 2 1/2-year high as dollar slumps

The euro extends its recent gains, rising against the dollar on Monday to book the best monthly gain in more than a year and hitting the highest level since January 2015.

Americans' new badge of honor: 'I was blocked by a celebrity!'

The 'block-brag' may be the new humble-brag.

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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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